Kudos to Princess: On the May 26th 10 day Alaska cruise by the Regal Princess Hosted a group from the Guide Dogs for the Blind. The group included 30 blind people, 21 guide dogs, 2 wheel chair users, 4 escorts and 35 family members and friends. Princess gave the group unbelievable accessibility to the ship and shore excursions that included:
Braille menus and ship directories, pet life jackets, computer access for the blind and special training for the staff. They let the group know which shore excursions were safe and accessible for the group. They had Michael Hingson, a World Trade Center survivor and guide dog user offer a series of lectures. His lectures were a powerful glimpse into the world of blindness and the powerful bond between animals and humans. Their help in embarkation and disembarkation at all ports was impressive. They had a private life boat drill for the group due to their special requirements. They had the front row of the theater reserved for those with limited vision, provided relieving boxes for the dogs, ship board shopping help and assistance with shore excursions. The dining staff cut the meat for the passengers and told them that “the salmon is located at 4 o’clock”. Dog treats were provided nightly for the dogs. On each of the sea day the dog harnesses were removed so the dogs could run and play with the passengers and staff. Everyone fell in love with these hard working dogs. For 10 days the Regal Princess was an oasis of peace acceptance and accessibility for the blind, their dogs and family. The group has indicated that if you have a blind client, they would recommend Princess. Kudos to Princess.
Story appeared in July 12, 2004 issue of Travel Weekly for Travel Agents. I am an elite captains club member who was on the inaugural cruise of this ship and this is why it is one of my favorite ships to this day.
Royal Princess, 3/24/05, Horizon, 9/5/04, Sapphire Princess, 6/13/04 ,
Zuiderdam-2003, Constellation -2003, Infinity-2002, Vision of the Seas-2002,
Mercury-2001, Norwegian Sky-2000, Horizon-2000, Ryndam-1999,
Grand Princess-1999, Westerdam-1998, Grand Princess-1998, Oriania-1997
1985-1996-3-HAL, 1-RCCL, 2-NCL, 11-Princess, 1-Royal, 1-Cunard